Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren today gave a speech where she accused Amazon, Apple, and Google of attempting to “snuff out competition” by locking out smaller companies, reports Recode.
“Google, Apple and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and … they deserve to be highly profitable and successful,” Warren said. “But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again.”
In regard to Apple specifically, Warren said the company has made it difficult for its rivals to offer competitive streaming services able to compete with Apple Music, presumably through the cut that it takes from streaming services like Spotify when people sign up through the iOS app.
To account for Apple’s cut, Spotify charges $12.99 to customers who purchase a subscription through an Apple device, which is $3 higher than the $9.99 price tag of Apple Music.
While Apple declined to comment on Warren’s statements, Spotify’s head of communications and public policy Jonathan Prince took the opportunity to lambaste Apple in a statement given to Recode.
“Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri. You know there’s something wrong when Apple makes more off a Spotify subscription than it does off an Apple Music subscription and doesn’t share any of that with the music industry. They want to have their cake and eat everyone else’s too.”
Spotify has long been unhappy with Apple’s pricing policy. In the past, Spotify fought against Apple’s cut by sending emails to its customers who had signed up for a $12.99 per month subscription on an iPhone or iPad, encouraging them to cancel their subscriptions and re-subscribe via the web.
Recently, Spotify criticized some upcoming App Store changes like a new revenue split for subscriptions and ads in search results, saying Apple’s efforts don’t “get to the core of the problem” and criticizing Apple’s insistence on “inserting itself between developers and their customers.”
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